The long-haul journey home begins

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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai
June 13th 2015
Published: October 7th 2015
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We're very happy that our flight today was scheduled for a very civilised 1400 hours. I'm sure that Kath and Albert were also relieved that they didn't have to get up at a ridiculous hour to drive their house guests to Manchester Airport! After the beautiful weather yesterday, today dawned wet and overcast which made it easier to be leaving ... even though it was to head back home to winter in Melbourne.

As always Bernie wanted to be at the airport nice and early so Kath and Albert dropped us off just before 11.00am. There is a really handy undercover short-term drop-off area which was a blessing with the wet weather. We unloaded quickly, said our farewells to Kath and Albert and then towed our bags into the terminal.

We checked in and then had to take our bags to the soft bag drop-off area. This procedure is unique to Manchester Airport. We have travelled all over the world with these bags and usually they just go off on the conveyor belt the same as any other case or bag. Not at Manchester. At Manchester all soft bags receive special treatment and have to be taken to a drop-off area dedicated to soft bags, back packs, etc. Apparently it is because the baggage handling facilities are so old that they can't cope with the soft bags that have become more popular with travellers over the years. Oh well, nice to know that our bags are being taken care of rather than running the risk of being snagged up on some old conveyor belt!

With a couple of hours until flight time, we went to see if we could use the Emirates Lounge. Grrr, that would be a (very polite) 'No'. We really do not understand these airline partnership arrangements. Our Qantas/Emirates ticket has entitled us to fly on QF flights operated by Qantas and Emirates (some legs on Qantas planes and some on Emirates planes) with no differentiation as to whether we are Qantas customers or Emirates customers. So why doesn't this seemingly seamless partnership extend to the airline's lounge facilities???? Apparently the deal is that Qantas Club members can use the Emirates Lounge at Dubai because it is a hub. However, if you are boarding at one of Emirate's European destinations there is no reciprocal lounge use - even though Qantas doesn't have a lounge of its own in Manchester. What the ...?

So, off to the cattle class gate lounge for us. We really need to look into whether it is worth continuing our Qantas Club memberships as we have had too many knock backs over the years due to pernickety rules. We definitely need to cancel at least one I think - it's not worth the $$. Finally, after far too long sitting on bum numbingly hard plastic airport seats, it was time to board the Emirate's A380 for our 7 hour 15 minute flight to Dubai. See, as Qantas Club members we can fly to Dubai on an Emirates aircraft, but we can't use their lounge until we board?? Lounge issues aside, it was such a relief to board the capacious A380 after our very cramped experience on Thursday on the Thomson's operated service from Dalaman to Manchester. So - much - more - room!! And, as an added bonus, the flight was not fully booked so I had a vacant seat beside me AND a vacant seat in front of me. Yay, somewhere to stack the pillows and the blankets until we wanted them and the seat in front wasn't reclined into my face.

Steps for the day 6,805 (4.63 kms)


Tot: 0.07s; Tpl: 0.037s; cc: 9; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0149s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 4; ; mem: 1.2mb